T’ai Chi continues on as instructor relocates

Members of Forrest Rindels’ T’ai Chi class.

Members of Forrest Rindels’ T’ai Chi class.

Chuck Strader

It is with mixed emotions that the Robson Ranch t’ai chi students say goodbye to their instructor, Forrest Rindels. Forrest introduced the wellness-focused martial art to RR five years ago. He will be missed by the two dozen residents who currently incorporate t’ai chi as a key component of their wellness routine. Many additional RR residents have benefited from associating with Forrest before moving on to other places and/or wellness strategies. Although we are saddened and will miss his upbeat spirit, laid back approach, and genuine concern, we are happy for Forrest, along with his wife, Beth, for his prospects in his relocation closer to family in Eastern Iowa to share his passions for music broadcasting at cruising KCFI 1250 radio and martial arts.

Forrest attributes his initial interest in martial arts to the Billy Jack movies of the early 1970s. That passion drove Forrest to study under several Master instructors leading to owning and operating a martial arts studio for ten years with Beth, near their home in Flower Mound. Following the closing of his karate school about five years ago, Forrest dedicated himself to sharing the wellness benefits of t’ai chi primarily with active adults throughout North Texas. Forrest most recently partnered with Chuck Strader, a student, to develop and offer AWE (adaptive wellness enhanced) t’ai Chi to those mobility-challenged by neurological situations like Parkinson’s, head trauma, and strokes. The progress observed in the individual students, whose number grew to as many as a dozen during AWE’s fourth quarter of 2013 introduction, was truly Awe-some. However, interest waned and did not support continuing the separate class and AWE’s future remains to be seen.

One trait of effective martial arts instruction is that the students become capable instructors. Even though RR’s t’ai chi class is losing the services of Forrest and he will be missed, his spirit will still continue to reside here in the students that he trained. Until we find the right replacement for Forrest, a dozen or so of us intend to work as a team to lead and continue growing the class. We welcome all current class members and any RR residents interested in improving their mobility, balance, and memory along with a myriad of additional wellness-related benefits to join us Tuesdays and Fridays at 10:00-10:45 a.m. in the Sports Center gym.